We met at Gary's cabin and put skis on at the back door and started skinning up the Castle River. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of ski resorts. Something about being an introvert, and sharing mountains with hundreds of people rubs me strange. It's a great place to take the kids, but that's where it ends for me. Castle Mountain is a bit different, the owners give you a hug before you get on the suspect chairlifts, and the skiing is steep and treeless. It's great.
The greater Castle (made up of Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland) was once home to mechanized chaos, but was recently (2017) designated a park which involved the protection of 25,501 ha (63,010 acres) of land. This means no more sleds or ATV's in Castle Provincial Park, and Alberta Parks is apparently building huts in the backcountry.
We skinned up the Castle River Road (a walking bridge now only grants foot access) and before too long we were at this great gully that I had spied many times from the Castle Ski Hill across the Highway. This is Barnaby gulley.
[photo]Barnabyroute.JPG[caption]Barnaby Gully[/photo] We climbed the gully on a beautiful bluebird day that only Southern Alberta or the East Kootenays seems to provide, and stopped before things got seriously steep to dig a pit. Test results were typical for the southern Rockies (facets, wind slab, facets, crust, facets, 10 cm of powder....) and we decided we were good to continue upwards. We stopped climbing high up when the gulley got a bit bony, and decided to ski from... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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